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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Tornados
Date Thu, 20 Mar 2003 16:34:49 GMT
I usually don't read weblogs. But today I found this

since radio doesn't have semantic URIs, I can contextualize it saying 
this is Carsten's weblog.

Here is the interesting part:

One committer wrote in a private email to me: "My intention is to get 
committers like you out off their comfortable seats and start doing 
something for Cocoon". Now, at first I was a little bit amazed about 
this, then I was shocked - because it accused me of doing nothing for 
Cocoon and this person meant it for real! It was neither a joke nor a 
misinterpretation of his email.

As I'm sure that comments like these happened to other committers as 
well, I believe that the bad weather period is not over yet. Sooner or 
later we will get the tornado that clears everything (hopefully).

As you probably guess by now, I am that committer.

I'm not going to comment the above with some recontextualization skills 
where some say I excel.

I'm going to tell you what I think and what are my feelings.

Hopefully this is going to be the tornado that will clear the skies 
again. If not, well, at least I tried.

                                      - o -

I came back on the code after 12 months of development inactivities and 
it looked fat.


not big, not overcomplex: fat.

many plans on the table, but nobody that is able to make those plans 
come alive. and nothing to blame if not a huge inertia that draged 
itself over and over.

release early and often: impossible with so many weak contracts.

building on sand, overmodularization, outdated and poor quality 

Read it again now:

"My intention is to get committers like you out off their comfortable 
seats and start doing something for Cocoon"

All of us did something for Cocoon, this is nothing new, but we are all 
seating in our confortable seats watching this like it was TV. *I* am 
the first one to blame for letting things going like this. I am the 
first one that sat on his comfortable chair and watch you guys do all 
the programming.

Things like the avalon refactoring created a huge mess and I'm 
responsible for it as much as everybody else.

Samples were partially refactored and left there. I tried to chip in, it 
was too complex and left it.

Forrestization of documentation never happened. I started Forrest, then 
turned my back on it.

The blocks were created and the build needed 300 Mb to complete. I 
designed the perfect blocks, but expected others to implement them for me.


Wake up, people!

Matthew said: "stop looking yourself in the mirror".

He really pissed me off with that comment because I was doing 
*everything* but looking myself in the mirror, he liked me more in 
idle-mode when I *was* looking myself in the mirror. nevertheless he is 
right. Too bad that *all* cocoon committers were staring at themselves 
in the mirror and not doing anything for the evolution of the foundation 
of the project.

Oh, sure, new code, new features, book, wikis, bugfixes... all these are 
great things and very needed... but useless if we continue to build 
things on sand.

So, how do we start building on rocks?

Three things:

1) solidify contracts
2) solidity contracts
3) solidify contracts

which mean:

1) SoC applied to everything: even to our build system -> blocks
2) get gump working
3) break things so that people get their hands dirty again
4) define and document contracts
5) make it easier to publish our documents
6) better integration with the wiki/forrest/whatever-next
and so on and on and on... there were tons of things to do.


And how do you know if something is solid?

You shake it and see what happens.

How solid is your ego against pressure? against the pressure that we'll 
have to face when Cocoon will be the next big thing between J2EE and .NET?

I shaked it!

How much do you trust me? how much do you trust this community?

People arrived years after I started this community and thought that 
peacefulness around here is something you get automatically, you get for 

Surprise: you're wrong!

Peace is a dynamic equilibrium. It needs a lot of work to get people to 
cooperate. To ease problems before they emerge. Lots of private emails. 
I've been doing this for years and now I stopped and started going the 
other way to see how people would react.

Evolution needs both life and death. OSS must be evolutionary. And 
evolution breaks things, solves things, changes patterns, changes 
people, goes places and comes back.

Now: it's all about trust.

If I make a comment like the above and you trust me, you start 
questioning what I really mean. And if you can't, you ask.

If you don't or you dislike my attitude, you get defensive and offended 
and my ability to communicate with you is gone. potentially forever.

I made a big mistake with several cocoon committers: I removed all 
diplomatic filtering and went direct, direct as I am with friends. This 
worked for some, didn't work for others.

This percieved bad weather is a result of those mistakes.

I love to be proven wrong, I love to be criticized, I love to be talked 
directly, even when it hurts. I love to crush my own ego and see what 
remains. I love to learn and earn respect by learning and teaching and 
doing stuff.

But I expect others to do the same and this is my big mistake.


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